Working with children for over ten years, I have found a passion for helping students overcome adversities by excelling academically and building behavioral skills to succeed. I love the puzzle of addressing my students' areas of need by monitoring progress, individualizing instruction, and using their natural strengths to specifically tailor their instruction. I also enjoy empowering students and their parents by utilizing their mutual goals and values as a part of our lessons.
Following earning my Masters of Education at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, I have worked as a certified Special Education teacher for students with learning and behavioral disabilities in 4th-8th grade. I have worked with children in a variety of settings from babysitting and nannying to tutoring in math, reading, and other content areas, and I enjoy working with all ages. It is essential to me to have a professional yet compassionate, positive relationship with my students to truly access their academic potential. I focus on structured behavior management, positive reinforcement and goal making.
It is my priority to provide highest caliber of services to match my students' and parents' goals.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: St. Olaf College - Bachelors, History, Russian Language, Russian Area Studies
Graduate Degree: Vanderbilt University - Masters, Special Education-High Incidence Disabilities
Volunteering, Hiking, Traveling, Reading, Spending time with my significant other and my sweet dog!
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Students must be provided with the level of intensive instruction that they need to improve. Teachers must be able to adapt to the needs of their students, using evidence-based practices and the students' strengths to help support areas of need. Some children need more support than others to be able to access the same opportunities, and my goal is to provide the best support possible to these children.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would do a short "get to know you" activity to start building a positive relationship between us. I would also have the student, parent and I, set some goals as a team. I would then have the student complete initial activities to serve as a screener to assess their present levels.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I firmly believe in direct instruction followed by a gradual release of responsibility. This starts with teacher modeling of a skill, practicing the skill together, and the student performing the skill independently. This process is on a skill-by-skill basis so students can increase confidence and ability progressively to support further skill acquisition.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I like to design a positive reinforcement system on a student-by-student basis. Each individual child finds different things motivating. Revisiting the goals we set at our initial session and revising them as needed also helps students focus while keeping the big picture in mind. I also look to collaborate with parents to keep students motivated for practice outside of the lessons.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I always start by utilizing students' strengths to build on their areas of need. I would give them strategies and provide scaffolding to help them succeed. Having experienced success, I would gradual decrease my involvement when performing that skill until we reached independent mastery.